Amit Shah is in West Bengal and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is facing a hard time as a major chunk of her party members from across the state are switching sides. Days after resigning as a party member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Suvendu Adhikari, the former West Bengal state transport minister joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a rally in Midnapore.
Other than Adhikari, eight MLAs, an MP and a former MP also joined the BJP today at the rally. The MLAs are Tapasi Mondal (Haldiya Purba, MLA, CPI-M), Ashoke Dinda (Tamluk, MLA, CPI), Sudip Mukherjee (Purulia, Congress), Saikat Panja (Burdwan Purba, TMC), Shilbhadra Dutta (Barrackpore, TMC), Dipali Biswas (Gajol, Maldah, TMC), Sukra Munda (Nagarkata, Jalpaiguri, TMC) and Banasri Maity (Contai North, MLA, TMC).
Fraction within TMC
Adhikari left TMC alleging that the party has become corrupt and there is 'extremely deep rot' within the party.
The minister had tendered his resignation to the Chief Minister on Wednesday. On the same day itself, he also put down his papers from his post of a state Legislative Assembly member from Nandigram.
In his resignation letter cited by the media, addressed to Banerjee, Adhikari had wrote, "I am writing to tender my resignation as a member of All India Trinamool Congress as well as from all other positions held by me in the party and its associate organs with immediate effect. I am thankful for all the challenges and opportunities that have been given to me and I will always value my time spent as a member of the party."
After joining BJP, Adhikari slammed the Mamata government for being indifferent to the people's issues. He also out rightly claimed that 'Didi's party' has lost its self-respect. If the same government which rules Delhi does not rule West Bengal then it will hurt the development and other economic prospects of the state, Adhikari added.
Meanwhile, following her husband's footsteps, Tapasi Mondal, CPI-M MLA from Haldia quit the party and joined the BJP complaining that there was barely any scope left for her to work for the people of the state.
However, two TMC rebel legislators, Jitendra Tiwari, MLA from Pandabeshwar, and Biswajit Kundu, the legislator from Kalna in East Burdwan district, made a U-turn on Friday, a day after resigning from the party and issuing statements against the leadership. The sudden decision came after senior BJP leaders, including Union minister Babul Supriyo, expressed their reservations against the leaders. Without wasting further time, the duo immediately contacted Saugata Roy, TMC MP, and apologized for their mistake. They assured Roy that they are with the TMC once again.
Amit Shah tears into Mamata rule
While hailing Adhikari's decision to join BJP, Shah said that he has been compelled to stand up against Mamata's governance as she has eventually deviated from the ideology of "Maa, Maati aur Maanus" to "nepotism and appeasement politics".
"Mamata didi says the BJP takes people from other party. I want to remind her of her days in Congress. When people of Bengal are coming with BJP to transform the state of Bengal, why is she worried?" Shah was quoted as saying.
"Senior party members are leaving TMC. Didi accuses BJP of inducing party members to defect. But I want to ask her when she quit Congress to form TMC, was it not defection? This is just the start. She will be left alone by the election," he added as he addressed a large group of people on Midnapore College ground in Paschim Medinipur district.
On Sunday, the home minister is expected to visit Vishwa Bharti University in Shantiniketan to pay tribute to Rabindranath Tagore, followed by Shyambati in Birbhum. Later he will also hold a roadshow in Bolpur and conclude his visit with a press conference at Mohor Kutir in Birbhum.